Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Wrong-way driver in Anaheim could face drunk-driving charges, authorities say

A 21-year-old Fullerton woman driving the wrong way on the 91 Freeway in Anaheim will likely face felony drunk-driving charges after a head-on collision this morning that killed two people, authorities said.

Jessica Shekell was driving a pickup truck west on the eastbound 91 Freeway near the 55 Freeway about 3 a.m. when she collided with a Chevy Silverado, said California Highway Patrol Officer Denise Quesada.

The two women and two girls in the Silverado were not wearing seat belts, Quesada said.

Sally Miguel, 44, and Patricia Miguel, 30, died from their injuries. Their nieces in the back seat -- Sara Miguel, 11, and Mary Miguel, 15 -- remained in the hospital. Sara was in serious condition, and Mary was listed in moderate condition, Quesada said. All were from San Bernardino.

Shekell, who could face additional charges, also was hospitalized with “very serious” injuries, Quesada said.

-- Ari B. Bloomekatz

More breaking news in L.A. Now:

Metro Gold Line Eastside extension to open Nov. 15

Cooler temperatures, high winds coming to Southern California

Huge crowds turning out for swine flu vaccine

New sightings reported of Mitrice Richardson, woman missing from Malibu sheriff's station

Doctor who joined the Navy after his son's death in Iraq returns from deployment

'Avatar' director James Cameron plans to stay and fight next Malibu brush fire

Man shot dead in unincorporated Whittier

Comments () | Archives (20)

A combination of stupidity. First drinking and getting on the freeway the wrong way which I could never figure how this is possible. Second, four people on the freeway with no seat belts including children. What's with people? I don't get it

Do Hispanics never wear seat belts?

WHAT NO COMMENTS??? But if she had a Hispanic surname there would be hundreds.

My prayers to theses families for their lost.

Not wearing seat belts?

Sorry they were hurt, but they need to be treated the same under the law and fined.

The seat belt law was put in place for instances such as this...maybe they would have sustained much less serious injuries if they had been wearing seat belts!

(And yes, of course, I know drunk driving is against the law - she should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law...but two wrongs don't make a right.)

Judging by her MySpace profile and pictures, Jessica sure likes her alcohol. In one several pictures she's holding on to some kind of booze. In one picture, she's holding on to a large OPEN bottle of Jack Daniels while sitting in a car. This girl has no regard. Tattoo that on your body.

First, this shows again that only REALLY drunk drivers cause accidents. .08 is a money making machine for the government that can ruin a person over a couple of beers.
As for the comments from other readers regarding seat belts, whether you like wearing one or not it is another money making CA law. What I do find amazing is while, in general, the CHP follow this law, you'll have a hard time finding an LA cop, or LASD, wearing theirs. Apparently, seat belt and cell phone laws don't apply to them.

wrong-way spikes on all freeway off-ramps will stop the drunks before they can drive up an off-ramp.

Nicole Ritchie did this in 2007, her 3rd DUI, entered onto 134 fwy on Buena Vista off ramp. Parked in fast lane shoulder. She was barely sentenced. One lucky lady and several lucky passengers she didn't hit

I just saw 14 pictures of her on her myspace posing with Alcohol,FOURTEEN! and some pics are INSIDE a vehicle. She titles one pic of her with a bottle of Jack Daniels INSIDE a vehicle as "Her Boyfriend" Jack. Which is not only illegal but stupid. It is an absolute shame whoever she was with let her leave completely drunk although she is old enough to know better. Those poor people probably never saw her coming. This could have been me as this 55/91 interchange is directly by my home and is the route I use daily to go to work and to come home. Thank goodness it wasn't me.

Seatbelts, seatbelts, seatbelts.

All they had to do was buckle up and they just might be alive today.

As much as the drunk driver is to blame for the death of two women and the injuries of minor girls, it would all have been prevented, or at least, the damage wouldn't be half as great if they only took two seconds to buckle their seatbelts. You can only be responsible for the consequences of your actions, you have no control over bad and reckless decisions other people may make.

I went to school with Jessica Shekell (The DUI Driver) - we come from a small town so this is everywhere. She was really stupid and this is such a horrible situation. Hopefully she'll pay for her damage and receive a penalty that matches the crime.

I can't believe there are still people out there that don't wear seatbelts!!

Drunk driving -- be it .08 or .40 -- is an intolerable crime. Driving without a seatbelt is, well, that's just stupid.

Throw away the key on this stupid girl. "Wrong-way drunk" is, to me, a violent crime that deserves the harshest punishment

Is she illegal?, if so, p;lease tell her to go to San Francisco where she can have sanctuary!!!!

She needs be tried for 2 counts of 2nd degree murder 2 counts of assault...even if the victims were illegal aligns...

Frankly, not using seat belts seems to be an Hispanic thing. I constantly read about accidents where the occupants are killed and maimed and the surnames usually are Hispanic. Maybe the H leaders need to be more assertive and get the message out to their community that seat belts really do save lives, and faces and necks and throats and other body parts. As to the drunkie, I hope she rots in jail, but unfortunately I will be she won't do a day in confinement. Plea out or some such and be back slugging the booze tooling down the road in not time at all. Until we (1) have automatic 15 year sentences for all drunk drivers and (2) immediately confiscate their vehicles and all personal effects therein and (3) publish their photos on the internet together with their DUI and other criminal history we will continue to watch the mayhem on our roads. Truly disgusting. I ride a bicycle (and I am age 62)and my biggest worries are the drunks and cell phone zombies. Will we ever be safe???

Ok first of all people are being racist against Hispanics. Who said all hispanics didnt wear seatbelts? Thats really name User:fleabell. Do you always wear your seatbelt? i think not.

first of all, there's no proof she was drunk. It's a likely assumption at three in the morning, but it's not fair to get ahead of the facts. I'm her cousin, and Jessica isn't a dumb girl. There could be, and very likely will be other factors and roles that play into this case. She's lost friends back in high school due to drunk driving and wouldn't get into a car if she was belligerent. Friend's say she was taking care of herself and wasn't out-of-control intoxicated. Let's wait to hear the toxicology reports before we go calling her an alcoholic or a murderer. Give the girl some sympathy. Everyone makes mistakes, most likely never as serious as this one, but we all still do. This situation will change her life forever, as well as our entire family's.

To the friends and family members of Jessica:

If she had a drinking problem why didn't you help her?
Someone who is posting pictures of herself on Myspace with beer inside a vehicle clearly has issues. Why didn't you all step up and help her? As sad as the situation is, I hope she receives life in prison, but because she is WHITE she probably will get like a year or so. If it was a Hispanic driving, they would have received life in prison. She clearly was stupid and irresponsible, how in the world do you go on the fast track the wrong way??? Damn what an idiot. Now for those who are saying "oh we all make mistakes" I'm sorry, but I don't drink or smoke, and if I was to drink I'm old enough and mature enough to understand that drinking and driving don't mix. Peace be with us all. And may justice be served.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: